The home and construction sector in the UK is transforming. The desire to deliver eco-homes, or what we like to call ‘high performance homes’ can be seen throughout Social Housing and within Local Authorities, as well as private bespoke home-builders.
For some it may be enough to just add solar panels on their roof, but for many, those with true eco aspirations and the desire to make a difference, it goes further, much further.
It really is time to think inside and outside the box to make a real difference.
A true eco-home development and site has many advantages. However, it is critical to integrate the technology and aesthetics of the building at stage one in the planning process, even before the architect draws the plans. The system planning must complement the building and leverage the power that renewable technology can offer.
What we have seen is that when well planned, these technologies can be at home with everything from a traditional terraced home build, to a ‘Kevin MacLeod approved - Grand Designs’ development.
There is also a vast array of technology on the market including: internal and external insulation, ventilation, Solar P.V., biomass systems and air source heat. The emergence of energy and heat storage units further enhances the offering of home renewables.
A big change being seen is the move away from renewable technologies being installed in individual houses to centralised energy production. This is likely to see a rise in the number of new build housing schemes being supplied by district heating schemes, particularly in areas without connection to the gas grid.
At VG Consulting we understand the challenges and costs associated with building using this technology, but what research data shows is that these homes offer advantages for the end user. Visionary homebuilders adapting designs to include renewable technologies are reaping the rewards. Although not publically stated, from planning approval perspective these projects are looked upon favourably. The homes become more in demand, and with buyers willing to pay a premium, it’s a win-win situation.
A recent survey report performed by Redrow Homes found that 63% of potential home buyers want to “go green.”
Better still for the house-builder sector is that the survey found that participants placed lower energy bills as a main priority in house choice or as part of their home design. Interestingly, they placed energy efficiency and lower energy bills above staple historic options such as a nice garden, parking space or even amenities. A quarter of the survey added they were willing to pay at least a 6% premium for a home with sustainable features.
All good news. We believe so, but for the house-builder there are two critical areas to consider when executing what the buyer wants.
1. Designing the correct technology into the build to ensure the home realises real benefits.
2. Proper planning processes that integrate each technology and allow the true design of the building to benefit from these additions.
At VG Consulting we are ideally placed to support both of these areas. We have expertise in the planning processes and will present planning submissions that meet the criteria for awarding authorities. We have the advantage of having been at the front end of renewable technology planning and environmental procedures, as well as many years’ experience within the renewables sector for varied build projects.
If you are planning a private eco-house build, a developer looking for advice, or an architect exploring planning support, then we are happy to discuss and explain how we can assist and make your property build tick all the boxes.